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CAIR-MN Asks North Dakota GOP to Apologize to Muslim Dropped from State House Prayer

CAIR-logo(MINNEAPOLIS, MN, 2/20/15) – The Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN) today called on North Dakota Republican Party leaders to apologize to a Muslim leader in that state who was dropped from offering an invocation at the opening of North Dakota's state House of Representatives because of the objections by GOP lawmakers.

Because of those objections, Nadim Koleilat from the Bismarck Muslim Community Center instead delivered an invocation to the state Senate.

One GOP lawmaker, Rep. Dwight Kiefert, said Christians should not be “forced” to listen to someone who “worships another god” during “one of the holiest days of the year.” (The prayer was to be offered on Ash Wednesday.)

SEE: North Dakota House Republicans Reject Ash Wednesday Invocation by Muslim leader

“North Dakota Republican Party leaders should apologize to Nadim Koleilat and to the entire Muslim community in that state,” said CAIR-MN Executive Director Jaylani Hussein. “Lawmakers of any political persuasion should reject religious bigotry and exclusion.”

He noted that CAIR recently issued an open letter to potential Republican presidential candidates urging them to reject Islamophobia and to reach out to American Muslim voters.

CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

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CONTACT: CAIR-MN Executive Director Jaylani Hussein, 612-406-0070, E-Mail:; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202 488-8787 or 202-744-7726, E-Mail:


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